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Institute of

AT Agricultural Technology

Products from Renewables

Current Projects

Effect of inhibited ammonium sulphate urea on the increase of the nitrogen use efficiency and reduction of ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions due to mineral fertilization

The focus of Win-N is increasing the N use efficiency and competitiveness in the cultivation of commodity crops in combination with reducing nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions through the use of urease and nitrification inhibitors.

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Effect of inhibited ammonium sulphate urea on the increase of the nitrogen use efficiency and reduction of ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions due to mineral fertilization

Reduction of peat use in Germany

"What are the potential environmental effects of peat and peat substitutes in horticultural substrates and what are the environmental impacts of their use in horticulture? These and other questions are to be answered in the interdisciplinary joint project MITODE".

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Reduction of peat use in Germany

LandLessFood_blue - Concept for a sustainable global food system in 2100

For a world without hunger and the protection of our environment, new concepts for the global food system are necessary. In the project "LandLessFood_blue", among other things, the potential of bioreactors as components of a sustainable agricultural system will be investigated.

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LandLessFood_blue - Concept for a sustainable global food system in 2100

Rural Urban Nutrient Partnership

"Rural Urban Nutrient Partnership (RUN)"" is an inter- and transdisciplinary research project in which the visions of a partnership between farmers and urban dwellers should be established tested and established.

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Rural Urban Nutrient Partnership

Region-specific measures for the cost-efficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of raw material crops

If the Federal Government wants to achieve the climate protection targets for 2030, there is an urgent need for action on the part of agricultural enterprises. In this project, region-specific measures are to be identified with which greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of crops can be reduced.

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Region-specific measures for the cost-efficient reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the cultivation of raw material crops

Reduction of the environmental and climate impact of the cultivation of raw material plants by using the benefits of partial deep tillage (PDT)

How can the cultivation of crops be made more climate-friendly? The "Krumensenke" project, a joint project of the Thünen Institute for Agricultural Technology (TI-AT) and the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), will investigate the potential of partial deep tillage.

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Reduction of the environmental and climate impact of the cultivation of raw material plants by using the benefits of partial deep tillage (PDT)

Biorefining in a Circular Economy

Biorefining is one of the key strategies of the circular economy, which helps to close raw material cycles. The international platform IEA Bioenergy Task 42 offers actors a network for the exchange of information.

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Biorefining in a Circular Economy

Legumes Translated

The aim of EU Thematic Network Legumes Translated is to promote innovation in grain legume cultivation systems and related value chains through the synthesis of existing knowledge and transfer to practice. The Thünen Institutes of Biodiversity and Agricultural Technology are involved in this project together with questions on biodiversity, ecosystem services and environmental impacts.

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Legumes Translated

Replacement of Contentious Inputs in Organic Farming Systems

RELACS provides a unique opportunity for farmer organisations, advisory services and researchers to work together and contribute to even higher environmental standards in organic farming.

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Replacement of Contentious Inputs in Organic Farming Systems

Towards a bio-based economy

Renewables are the centre piece of the bioeconomy. Sustainably produced biomass and innovative conversion routes are prerequisites for the efficient use of resources. Utilisation of organic residues is of particular importance due to the growing demand for food and feed. It is important to identify and consider trade-offs between different utilisation paths for biomass. Efficient use of resources helps to reduce the dependency on fossil resources in the long-term.

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Towards a bio-based economy

Sustainability assessment of bio-based systems

A successful transition to a bio-economy depends on a number of technological, economic, environmental and social factors. Each step needed to be assessed with respect to sustainability goals in order to frame that transition efficiently.

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Sustainability assessment of bio-based systems

Catalysis in Biorefineries

Catalytic conversion processes are the backbone of today’s chemical industry. They will be as well of fundamental importance in a future bio-based industry. Comprehensive knowledge of value-added chains and catalysts is needed to analyze, develop and evaluate biorefinery processes.

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Catalysis in Biorefineries

Digestion of agricultural raw materials and residues

Sugars from biomass are essential building blocks for the production of biobased chemicals. A comprehensive knowledge of their recovery is necessary in order to evaluate and develop efficient conversion processes.

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Digestion of agricultural raw materials and residues

New bio-based Polymers and Materials

Synthetic polymers and materials make a decisive contribution to the preservation of our high standard of living. We analyze, evaluate and develop alternatives for a bio-based economy.

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New bio-based Polymers and Materials

Product isolation and purification of conversion products

Parallel with process development of chemical and biotechnological conversion of renewable resources, research is indispensable in the field of physical, thermal and chemical separation techniques for the successful purification of the conversion products.

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Product isolation and purification of conversion products

Completed Projects

Biodegradable biobased plastics - Recommendations for appropriate use

Products made of biodegradable biobased plastics (BBK) are often seen as a potential solution for the increasing pollution of the environment with durable plastic waste. But where does a substitution of conventional, petroleum-based plastics by BBK really makes sense in practice? The Institute of Agricultural Technology and the Institute of Market Analysis are pursuing this question.

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Biodegradable biobased plastics - Recommendations for appropriate use

Bio-based glycolic acid for food packaging

Polyglycolic acid is an innovative plastic with outstanding performance for food packaging. We want to synthesise glycolic acid the key compound of polyglycolic acid from renewable resources.

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Bio-based glycolic acid for food packaging

Biobased Dicarboxylic Acids

Biobased dicarboxylic acids auch as furan dicarboyxylic acid (FDCA) are interesting building blocks for polyesters. In this project the process development will be supported by eco-efficency analysis, which may be suitable to guide the development of similar processes for the production of biobased chemicals.

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Biobased Dicarboxylic Acids

Cheap alternatives to yeast extract in bioprocesses

Yeast extract provides important nutrients, but it is also a major cost-factor in fermentation processes. Our objective is the substitution of yeast extract by agricultural raw materials in order to improve the economic efficiency of biobased products.

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Cheap alternatives to yeast extract in bioprocesses

Biorefineries in a future BioEconomy

The aim of Task42 is to contribute to the development and implementation of sustainable biorefineries – as part of highly efficient, preferably zero waste, value chains – synergistically producing biobased Food and Non-Food Products as key element for a global circular BioEconomy.

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Biorefineries in a future BioEconomy

Nitrogen Stabilization and Subsurface Placement as Innovative Technologies Enhancing the Resource Efficiency of Fertilized Urea

The project deals with two frequently mentioned options for NH3 mitigation following urea fertilization: (1) Stabilization: A combined use of urease and nitrification inhibitors is seen to reduce N- losses significantly avoiding pollution swapping and providing further agronomic benefit. (2). Subsurface placement: A special side dressing technology injecting granular urea in combination with a mechanic weed control is seen to reduce NH3 emissions and, in addition, to improve soil properties and crop development.

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Nitrogen Stabilization and Subsurface Placement as Innovative Technologies Enhancing the Resource Efficiency of Fertilized Urea

Fumaric Acid for Polymers

Fumaric acid is an interesting building block for bio-based polymers. We are searching together with European partners for an efficient biotechnological production of fumaric acid from agricultural raw materials and residues.

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Fumaric Acid for Polymers

GHG-calculation of rapeseed cultivation

As of 2017, biofuels must achieve greenhouse gas savings of 50%. For the production of rapeseed biodiesel, reducing GHG emissions from rapeseed cultivation is a particular challenge. Regional differences are to be examined in the project. The regional GHG emissions and other environmental impacts of rapeseed cultivation are to be quantified on the basis of a life cycle-based analysis for five locations in Germany.

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GHG-calculation of rapeseed cultivation

Site-specific life cycle assessment of energy crops

A controversial debate is on-going about the conversion of maize for energy. The debate about food-feed-and food for biofuels is based on the same arguments and very emotional. Within our project we would like to measure and model environmental impacts in order to support figures and facts for that debate.

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Site-specific life cycle assessment of energy crops

Comparative life cycle assessment of anaerobic digestion

The project involves the construction and assessment of scenarios for farm scale AD biogas production, in comparison to other bioenergy options, and compare these with two baseline reference farm systems: a large dairy unit in southwest England and a mixed arable farm in east England.

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Comparative life cycle assessment of anaerobic digestion

2,3-Butandiol and Maleic Acid from Hemicelluloses

For a better utilization of biomass, the development of processes to convert hemicelluloses to value-added products is necessary. Exemplarily, we focus on the important industry chemicals 2,3-butanediol and maleic acid.

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2,3-Butandiol and Maleic Acid from Hemicelluloses

Itaconic Acid for Polyesters

Polyesters nowadays represent an important group of plastics which generally are obtained using fossil raw materials. Another, more sustainable approach, we work on in an ERA-IB project, is the use of renewable resources like chaff or orange peels for their production.

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Itaconic Acid for Polyesters

HMF from sugars

The replacement of the fossil-based plastic PET used for soft drink bottles by bio-based PEF still fails due to the lack of an efficient conversion of sugars to HMF. Our new innovative research approach to produce bio-based HMF shall solve this problem.

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HMF from sugars

Biotechnological production of Itaconic acid

Itaconic acid is one of the most important bio-based building block chemicals. The potential market for itaconic acid is large with a wide range of applications. To develop a more economical process it is important to optimize the fermentation process even further.

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Biotechnological production of Itaconic acid

Biotechnologically produced D-lactic acid

Polylactic acid is a well-known bio-based plastic, which consists mainly of L-lactic acid. We are optimizing the production of D-lactic acid. Only by adding D-lactic acid, polylactic acid with significantly improved properties can be obtained.

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Biotechnologically produced D-lactic acid

BioButanol

Butanol is an important chemical feedstock used in paints resins, plasticizers and polymers. The aim of the project was the integrated evaluation of a biotechnical process for the produktion of butanol from agricultural residues or raw materials.

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BioButanol

Biobased unsaturated Polyester Resins

Many composite materials are dependent on petro-chemically produced unsaturated polyester resins. These contain large amounts of harmful styrene. We develop styrene-free, bio-based alternatives.

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Biobased unsaturated Polyester Resins

Guerbet-Butanol

Bioethanol is a potential platform chemical and can be catalytically converted to important chemicals, e.g. ethylene, 1-3-butadien, n-butanol. Our research focus on the production of n-butanol by the guerbet reaction.

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Guerbet-Butanol

Bio-based hot melt adhesives

Hot melt adhesives are important industrial adhesives, which are used in large quantity in the packaging and furniture sector. They are currently produced almost exclusively from petrochemical raw materials. The use of products made from renewable resources increases the bio-based content of hot melt adhesives and preserve fossil resources.

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Bio-based hot melt adhesives

Biobased binders for lithium-ion batteries (BeBAT)

Because of high energy density, light weight and a high cycle stability, lithium-ion batteries are becoming increasingly important in the field of electric mobility and in the stationary storage of electrical energy. In order to improve their manufacturing process and reduce environmental impact of these batteries, we develop epoxy-based binder from renewable resources as a component for the coating of the electrodes.

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Biobased binders for lithium-ion batteries (BeBAT)

Production of Succinic acid

Succinic acid and its salts (succinates) have great potential as a raw material for various products of the chemical industry. A so far unknown bacterial strain seems predestined for the economical production of succinate from renewable resources.

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Production of Succinic acid

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